Estimating up-to-date COVID-19 incidence
Bulletin 96 | Andrew Pijper & Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard
The actuarial consultancy and analytics firm Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP) has developed a COVID-19 Tracker to improve estimation of new infections. The tracker aims to be as close to real-time as the PHE daily data, but as comprehensive as the ONS approach. Combining both datasets and using established actuarial methods provides a more rounded estimate of national and local infection rates.
Better knowledge of local infection rates allows more tailored measures to break chains of transmission of the virus, slowing or preventing exponential growth in cases, and reducing the impact of the pandemic on lives lost, the health system and wider society.
In this Bulletin we provide an overview of the methods, high level findings and use the tracker to conduct an analysis of the impact of the tier-based system in December 2020. We conclude that there was a strong inverse correlation between the rate of growth of COVID-19 cases and the tier-level restrictions in the local area. Stronger social distancing restrictions sustained for longer periods are consistently more effective at controlling the growth of the virus.